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The Tree of Penance

Society Lost, Volume Three
Narrated by: J. Scott Bennett
Series: Society Lost, Book 3
Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
5 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the award-winning apocalyptic sci-fi novel Erebus: An Apocalyptic Thriller, the New Homefront series, and the Society Lost series.

The Tree of Penance is the third installment of the post-apocalyptic and dystopian thrill ride of the Society Lost series! If you like SHTF, TEOTWAWKI, vigilante justice, prepper, dystopian, or post-apocalyptic tales filled with action, adventure, tragedy, and triumph, join former sheriff Jessie Townsend as his journey takes him across a nation that is a mere shell of its former self after suffering numerous devastating blows from an orchestrated collapse and the attacks that followed. Along the way, Jessie encounters both friend and foe in a world that has become as lawless as the Old West frontier. Join him as he continues his quest in The Tree of Penance.

Other works from this author include:

  • The Last Layover: The New Homefront, Volume One
  • The Guardians: The New Homefront, Volume Two
  • The Blue Ridge Resistance: The New Homefront, Volume Three
  • The Resolution: The New Homefront, Volume Four
  • Viking One: A New Homefront Novel
  • The Shepherd: Society Lost, Volume One
  • Betrayal: Society Lost, Volume Two
  • Erebus: An Apocalyptic Thriller
  • JET: Dangerous Prey
  • The Edge of Civility
©2018 Steven Bird (P)2018 Steven Bird

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • RJ
  • Cottage Grove, MN, United States
  • 09-13-18

Hatfields vs. McCoys!

We’re invited to a taught, fast paced thriller reminiscent of an old fashioned Kentucky feud. We have three families with a long history of hostility and our fair-haired hero, former sheriff Jesse Townsend in the middle. Throw in a little religious zealotry, old vendettas, shifting alliances, kidnapping, with plenty of gunfire and you have the makings for a tense and exciting story. When retribution for wrong doings came, it came hard and without remorse. Mr. Bird did a fine job winding up this series and narration by J. Scott Bennett was excellent. Four.point.five. This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

History is a Circle

What happens when the world falls apart? In view of cataclysmic events, does society hold? When the conveniences of infrastructure breaks down, how long can order last? These are the questions that the author asks in this book. When law and order are no longer commonplace, new versions of society emerge, or perhaps it is more accurate to say, older ones.

The narrator's performance as always is high quality. His ability to switch easily between the distinct voices in his vocal cast is amazing. This is more-so true when conversations are rapid-paced as when in battle or crisis. Since this book has many characters involved in both, his talents are well used.

At the time that I started reading this book, I had recently finished an anthology of classic westerns. I was both surprised and pleased when I started seeing parallels in the laws, the societal models and standards, and the ways justice is meted out. It is ingenious how the author injects classic western themes in a future setting as a kind of reversion back to simpler times and ways. The parallels were thoroughly enjoyable to contemplate.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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AWEEESOOOMMMEE!

I think I need to go back and listen to the first two books in the series before being able to accurately review, and I'm going to. Book 3 was GREAT!!

It's interesting that three different narrators did this collection - usually I find it hard to get back into it with a different narrator. I of course am partial to J. Scott Bennett, he's awesome and always does an outstanding job.

This was a very entertaining and powerful story, I really enjoyed it! :)

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Please take a moment to click the "YES" ("Helpful") button below if you found this review helpful :) Thank you!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant, gripping story

I really enjoyed this story of ex-Sheriff Jesse Townsend who is trying to make his way across America to find his sister in Tennessee. I loved how the author successfully mixed man-made post-apocalypse modern times with old west type western. He made the characters feel real and you quickly become invested in Jesse and his new found friends survival. The authors great descriptive writing and the narrators use of voice, tone and intonation bring the story to life. You can really feel the horror, pain and struggles the characters go through. The story illustrates well how warped, cruel and depraved some people can become, while others rise to the occasion and show the beauty and strength humans are capable of. This story is gritty, heart wrenching and violent, and it keeps your attention right to the end. This was the first audiobook I have listened to in the Society Lost series and I will definitely be listening to the rest.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Pam C
  • Wolfforth, TX
  • 10-03-18

Good book

I didn't read the 1st 2 books of this series before reading this one, and, because of the fabulous writing, I may need to get them. That being said, the author does a fantastic job of telling the back story to understand where Jessie came from and where he is going. The Tree of Penance is a story of karma and her justice.
I listened to the audio book version of this story and Scott Bennet does proper justice to this story. He narrates with an ebb and flow that keeps the listener hanging on to every word.
I highly recommend this book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • TU
  • 09-19-18

pretty good post apocalypse story

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I started this series with this book, so didn't have any of the background detail from the first two books. That being said, I didn't feel too lost and was able to enjoy this book on its own. The narration is fantastic and really caught my interest from the beginning. For post apocatlyptic stories, this was a great addition to the genre. I'm somewhat interested in the previous two books, but not sure I'll go back for them at this point. I'll definitely continue to follow it going forward, though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Sheeps, wolves, and sheep dogs

I took a bit of a risk by jumping into the third installment of this series without having listened to/read the first two volumes. You never know if the author will bring seamlessly into the story arc or if you'll be bewildered by what's going on (like somebody's told an inside joke that you don't 'get'). So.... my review doesn't have the broader context that other reviewers may provide, because I didn't start the series from the beginning.

Well, the good news is that, yes, it is possible to enjoy the third book without reading the first two. The author does a good job with character description, so you can easily get the measure of the main characters. Plus, this story has a VERY small flavour of the old David Carradine series 'Kung Fu', where that protagonist wandered into a new situation with a new cast of characters and plot each week. I got the same sense with 'The Tree of Penance'. The main hero (I believe) has been in the story since the beginning but the rest of the characters in the story are unique to Volume 3. I could be wrong, but that's how I understood it from my perspective. So, no, it's not imperative that you start from the first Volume; the author drops bits and pieces of back story into the narrative so you can sense the recent tragedies in the protagonist's life and the purpose of his larger quest (which he resumes in the final chapter).

The main reason why I deducted a star for the story is that the author doesn't give any details about why/how society collapsed. I'm assuming that this is covered in Volume 1 or Volume 2? All I know from reading Volume 3 is that society DID collapse and we're now in a 21st century 'wild west' environment. To get one more star, I would have loved to know what happened to cause the situation that we're in during Volume 3. If the author didn't want to integrate it into the main story of 'The Tree of Penance', even a brief Forward/Prologue/Introduction would have been sufficient to orient new readers into the series. I have a feeling some serious stuff happened, but there's no mention of armed forces or military, no mention of viruses, no mention of zombies, no mention of government, or anything like that. I would have loved to know what happened to bring down civilization!

I didn't deduct stars due to the brutality of the events in this story, although there is certainly a lot to be uncomfortable about. As my header indicates, we see sheeps, wolves, and sheep dogs. And the wolves are very, very bad. Are humans capable of the kind of brutality that we read about in this story? Yes, I suspect that we are. Interesting, but I wasn't able to identify any female wolves in this story; women were mostly victims, with a few transforming into Charles Bronson 'Death Wish' personas. Perhaps female bad guys made appearances in earlier volumes of this series, but their absence here stood out in my mind (it's something worth reflecting on, I think).

I'm glad I read this story. The author writes very well and tells a compelling story. The narrator was a good pick as well. J. Scott Bennett's style is very complementary to the story - good work! I increased the playback speed a bit, but that's a personal preference for me.

"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding and exciting story

This is the third book in the Society Lost Series. It involves a man called Jesse who finds himself in deep trouble as he travels to find his sister after the collapse. He is shot and rescued and then ends up having to help not only his rescuer but the friends of the rescuer from two groups of people who prey upon those who are not as cruel and evil as they are.

The action is at times exciting and at time heart breaking as the good guys don't always come out on top and the group must adjust and struggle to stay alive and try to right the situation.

The narration is exceptional with a wide range of voices and emotions though the entire story.

This was the first writing of this author but look forward to many more of his offerings.

This book was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Great Listen

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the narrator, and found it very intriguing. A suspenseful tale told in the not too far future. It is an post-apocalyptic setting with a western feel. The heroes just want to survive in a world where evil villains have taken over. One act of kindness changes the world for an old timer and causes a chain reaction in the small town he is from. Well written characters and an interesting plot keeps you listening and waiting for what will happen next. This is the third book in the series, I'm going to go back and listen to the first two since I enjoyed it so much.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Loved this Story and Narrarator

Great book with lots of action. There were a couple of times when I thought i might have to turn the book off and walk away for a few. The scenes were dramatic and so visual. I was needing moment to regroup. I didn't though I pushed through. The characters were well developed and the narration was excellent. You could feel the characters and see the characters because of the excellent narration. This is a great book to add to your collection. Well worth the price and the time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful